Gaining a totem spirit is a powerful and binding experience for a pack. For this reason, the nature and attributes of a pack's totem spirit on GarouMUSH are not solely determined by the expenditure of background points: a pack must undertake a quest and acquire its totem spirit through roleplay as well.
The spirit wizard is a resource for the behaviors and interactions of pack totem spirits on GarouMUSH.
A pack must first decide what totem it wishes to follow. The pack should take into consideration the character of the totem as well as its background cost: three Cliath characters, for example, may find it difficult or impossible to contact and ally with some of the more powerful Totem Incarna.
In an OOC sense, the wizards prefer that people choose from Totems from the list in 'news totems', but since it is a wide and wonderful world out there, the wizard are open to people @mailing us with descriptions & powers of other Totems from the books. There's no guarantee they will be approved them as-is, and there's a definite possibility the wizards may well reject them outright, or, depending on the Totem, approve the idea in concept but tweak its powers. Still, though, there's nothing that says you can't try!
The wizards are entirely willing to choose a totem for those packs which prefer to be surprised, in their questing. In addition, the wizcorps may veto Totem spirits that are particularly inappropriate for any given pack. (A group of Get of Fenris questing for Panther, or a bunch of only homids questing for Griffin.)
Once the spirit has been chosen it must be ICly quested for and OOCly purchased. Each spirit has a background cost listed in 'news totems <totemname>'; this must be paid for with the pack's reservoir of Totem points. This is equal to the number of points individual pack members purchased in the Totem background, plus a number of points equal to the sum of pack members' ranks. (Cliaths are worth 1, Fosterns 2, and so on.) Points left over are used to purchase additional powers for the spirit (see 'news totems powers'). Cubs do not generally join official packs.
The pack is responsible for finding a GM for its totem quest, or "TQ". As we seek to maintain a degree of quality control over TQs, the choice of GMs is subject to the final approval of the wizcorps. (And the wizcorps has final say over the Totem chosen.) A TQ can be as complicated as a full-length plot or as straightforward as a single night of roleplay, though effort will be made to take the preferences of the pack into consideration.
Once a pack has gained a totem alliance, the responsibility of roleplaying the spirit on a regular basis belongs to the pack's alpha, or to whomever else the alpha designates. (In other words, yes, please do play your totem spirit! It's fun.) Wizards (and GMs) reserve the right to step in and roleplay the pack totem at any time, for plot and other purposes.